Bike of the month
September 2014 - BMW R Nine T

BMW R Nine  T

According to BMW Motorrad’s Head of Vehicle Design Ola Stenegard, the R nineT project began three years ago as a sort of back-door effort. Originally a chopper builder from Sweden, Stenegard envisioned the machine not so much as a retro cafe racer or naked bike but as a blank canvas for customization. Thus the rear frame that supports the passenger seat and footpegs comes off with just eight bolts, while the portion holding the taillight and license plate bracket comes off with another four screws. The latter transforms the bike into something of a bobber, which entails the owner adding his own taillight and license plate bracket.

The R nineT is powered by the final air-cooled version of the venerable opposed-twin Boxer engine, which in dohc form produces a claimed 110 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque. While the rear suspension utilizes BMW’s proven Paralever shaft-drive system, up front is a traditional inverted telescopic fork; Telelever would have looked wrong on this model. Spring preload for the shock is hydraulically adjustable via an easy-to-reach knob, and there’s also a stepless rebound-damping screw; the fork is non-adjustable. The two-piece seat comes off using a second “key” with an integral Torx bit to reveal a spartan toolkit.
In a word, the R nineT’s styling is elegant, with many beautiful forged, glass-blasted and clear-anodized aluminum pieces such as the front fender mounts, triple-clamps, seat stays, and right-side air scoop. Even the gas tank is aluminum, brushed at the knees, painted black over the rest and clear-coated. There are no plastic covers. Continuing the theme are the gold-anodized fork legs, the white seat stitching with blue logo and the old-school riveted historical denomination plate on the headstock. The wire-spoke 17-inch wheels run Continental RoadAttack 2C tires fitted with inner tubes.

June 2013 - 1961 BMW R50S

1961 R50S

Craig Vechorik's 1961 R50S, very rare!

Bike of the Year 1976 BMW R90s

90s1976 BMW R90s
The BMW Motorrad brand ambassador Troy Corser raced the 1976 BMW R 90 S at the “Goodwood Festival of Speed”.

Munich/Chichester, 2nd July 2012. Today’s stars and heroes from the past, historic and modern race vehicles: Last weekend, the “Goodwood Festival of Speed” again lured over 100.000 fans to Goodwood House near Chichester (GBR). The colours of BMW Motorrad were this time represented by brand ambassador Troy Corser (AUS). The two-time Superbike World Champion was taking the legendary 1976 BMW R 90 S on track at the famous motorsports event.

Troy was riding a motorcycle that made history: this BMW R 90 S took American Steve McLaughlin to victory in the first ever AMA Superbike race back in 1976 at Daytona (USA). Back then, McLaughlin won a tight photo-finish against his BMW team mate Reg Pridmore (USA) who later that season celebrated the historic first ever AMA Superbike title. Plans for a Superbike World Championship only took shape some years later. Now, BMW Motorrad Motorsport is contesting the series, that debuted in 1988, with factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Leon Haslam (GBR). McLaughlin’s victorious BMW R 90 S has found a new home at the BMW Museum at Munich (GER). At the “Goodwood Festival of Speed” it returned to the race track – ridden by the two-time world champion.

“It was a fantastic event; there were many, many people”, Troy enthuses. “The atmosphere was really nice, the weather was good, it was not too hot and the BMW R 90 S is a great bike to ride. I thought it would be a lot heavier but is actually pretty light and has quite a lot of torque. It is fun to ride and I even did some wheelies with it. Overall it was a great weekend. I also met some of the ‘older guys’, like John Surtees and Wayne Gardner who I have not seen for a while so it was good fun.”

Since 1993, the “Festival of Speed” has been held every year on the estate of motorsport enthusiast Lord March in the British county of West Sussex. It is here, where current stars and historic legends from automobile and motorcycle racing meet. Highlights are always the hillclimb runs, during which the riders and drivers race up the world-famous 1.16-mile road through the Goodwood House estate in and on modern and historic race vehicles.

February 2011 - BMW's 2012 K1600 GT

2012 BMW K1600

Seemingly directly on the heels of transforming the sportbike category with their stellar S 1000 RR this past year, BMW has its sights set firmly on revamping the sport touring and luxury touring segments of motorcycling.

North American journalists got their first view Stateside of the much anticipated 6-cylinder 2011 BMW K 1600 GTL the other night at Jay Leno's garage.

The new motorcycle (which will be produced as the GT and the GTL) is emboldened with a 1649cc inline 6-cylinder engine that is transversally mounted in a beefy, sportbike-inspired perimeter chassis.

The Motorrad (motorcycle) division put BMW's extensive history of engineering and developing in-line 6-cylinder automobile engines to good use. BMW engineers felt a 6-cylinder platform would provide incredible torque, gorgeous sound (especially at high revs) and, perhaps most importantly, silky smooth delivery.

This theory is reinforced in the BMW K 1600 with an exemplary 160 horsepower (at 7750 rpm) with a maximum torque rating of 129 ft/lbs (at 5250 rpm)-of which 70% is available at an astonishing 1,500 rpm. Adding credence to these performance-oriented stats is a compression ratio of 12.2:1.

Surprisingly, due the efficiency of the 6-cylinder configuration, the K 1600 claims better miles per gallon (MPG) than the K 1300 GT.
BMW is careful not to label the GTL as a luxury-touring motorcycle, preferring to coin the term "top tourer," which is intended-quite rightly-to conjure a sportier persona. A great deal of work went into ensuring the new K bikes would ultimately be fun to ride, which was targeted by going to great lengths to save weight and keep the bike slim.

The new BMW engine is a little less than 22" wide, making it comparable to most in-line fours. This was achieved with a separation of just 5mm between cylinder sleeves (0.197th of an inch).

The limitations of metals technology would have made this unthinkable twenty years ago. The entire engine, with gearbox, clutch and alternator, weights just 226 pounds. These statistics point toward a highly maneuverable and agile large capacity motorcycle that promises to behave more like a sportbike than a distance bike.

BMW is working to distinguish the two motorbikes, preferring to market the K 1600 GT as more of sporting experience, with emphasis on a single rider (although it will handle a passenger quite sufficiently).

The GT is designed to cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time. The GTL fills the role as a more appealing choice for two-up riding, promising to deliver superior comfort while remaining relatively sporty.

The new K bikes possess ride-by-wire throttle valve operation with a 3-way ride mode for power delivery (rain - road - dynamic) as well Dynamic Traction Control. Design cues are new school BMW, with a fairly aggressive wedged fairing and side cut-aways that reveal the engine in a bold stroke of masculinity.

A big item is the industry first Adaptive Headlight, which utilizes an auto leveling mechanism that maintains a constant field of light on a level horizon despite lean angle or pitch due to braking and accelerating. Aside from the new 6-cylinder powerplant, this is what I'm most interested to test.

The BMW K 1600 GT and GTL will be available late Spring of 2011 as 2012 models. Pricing as of press time was listed merely as TBD.

Info Courtesy:

January 2012 - Retro Concept
November 2010 - BMW K75S

BMW K75s

The BMW K75 was a standard motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad from 1985 to 1995. At the time of its introduction, the K75 was BMW's cheapest motorcycle. It offers a claimed acceleration of 0–60 mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h).

Various models of the K75 were produced.
K75, with no fairing
K75T, US only model with a windscreen, touring bags, engine crash bars, and rear top case
K75C, with a small handlebar mounted 'cockpit' fairing
K75S, with sports fixed fairing and lower bars
K75RT, with full fairing for 'road touring'

S and RT versions have a rear disc brake and 17 inch rear wheels whereas the others have a single leading shoe drum brake and 18 inch rear wheels. A stiffer, "anti-dive" front suspension was added to the S and RT model. Later RT version has a windshield that can be raised or lowered. Some taller riders complain of wind buffeting with the smaller S model stock windscreen.

All K75 models share the same drivetrain. They are powered by a 740 cc liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder engine with Bosch fuel injection. The US EPA specific engine produce 68 hp (51 kW) while all others produce 75 hp (56 kW). It utilizes a five-speed transmission with a dry clutch and a shaft-driven final drive. The engine is rotated 90 degrees – designed to be less vulnerable to damage should the cycle fall over.

The K-series lineup, including the K75 and K100, were not just new models; these designs were radical departures from almost every aspect of previous ones. The K-bikes introduced new technology and refinement for a premium brand. At the time, BMW and Harley-Davidson were the only major manufactures that did not offer liquid-cooled engines. Competing brands, notably of Japanese manufacture, were touting the superiority of their liquid-cooled engines and had introduced low maintenance shaft-drive technology into a growing number of their models.

The K-series offered refinements like computer-controlled fuel injection, all stainless steel exhaust, rust-free aluminum fuel tank, anti-lock brakes or ABS, mono-lever in the rear and single shock absorber, adjustable headlight, high capacity 460 watt alternator, cigarette lighter accessory plug-in, self canceling signal lights. The engine design had excellent vibration isolation. Two different forks manufactures were used: Showa with an outer upper tube diameter of 1.612 in (40.9 mm) and Fichtel and Sachs measuring 1.627 in (41.3 mm).

December 2009 - BMW R90S

Manufacturer: BMW Motorrad
Production: 1973–1976
Class: sport motorcycle
Engine: 898 cc Four-stroke, two cylinder, horizontally-opposed "Boxer", air cooled
Bore / Stroke 90 mm × 70.6 mm (3.5 in × 2.8 in)
Top speed: 200 km/h (120 mph)
Power: 67 hp (50 kW)
Torque: 76 N•m (56 ft•lbf)
Transmission: 5-speed, shaft drive
Brakes: Front: dual 260 mm discs
Rear: 200 mm drum
Wheelbase: 1,465 mm (57.7 in)
Dimensions: L 2,180 mm (86 in)
W 740 mm (29 in)
H 1,210 mm (48 in)
Seat height: 820 mm (32 in)
Weight (dry): 215 kg (470 lb) (wet)
Fuel capacity: 24 l (5.3 imp gal; 6.3 US gal)

November 2009 - 2010 R1200RT
The 2010 R1200RT 2010 R1200RT

The BMW R1200RT has always been acknowledged as the epitome of comfortable and dynamic motorcycle touring in classic style. And now, the latest version of this tourer, with its significant innovations, offers even more superior qualities and dynamic benefits thanks to its new boxer engine. In its configuration and basic structure, the new flat-twin engine is the same as the Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) engine featured in the BMW HP2 Sport. It has, however, been further upgraded and optimized for the BMW R1200RT to meet the specific requirements of an outstanding tourer.

With the 1,170-cc boxer engine on the former model already offering superior drive power under all conditions and in all situations, the new R1200RT has even more to offer. First, the new engine offers an increase in maximum torque from 85 - 88 lb-ft at an unchanged 6,000 rpm, for even greater acceleration and passing power. Second, the range of useful engine speed has been increased by 500 rpm to a maximum 8,500 rpm. The third improvement is a significant increase in torque where it really counts at low and medium engine speeds, with a smooth and homogeneous torque curve. Maximum engine horsepower is the same as the prior model at 110 hp but occurs now at 7,750 rpm (previously 7,500 rpm).

Overview of the main features of the 2010 R 1200 RT:

  • New, even more dynamic engine with two overhead camshafts per cylinder
  • Maximum torque increased to 88 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm, maximum output remaining at 110 hp at 7,750 rpm
  • Increase in maximum engine speed from 8,000 to 8,500 rpm, with an even broader power band
  • Significantly improved torque and acceleration
  • Smoother Torque curve
  • Cylinder head covers now with two, instead of four, fastening bolts and a new dynamic design
  • Electronically controlled exhaust flap for superior and powerful sound
  • ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment with damping, spring base and now also spring rate adjustable at the touch of a button
  • BMW Motorrad Integral ABS featured as standard in the partly integrated version
  • New design fairing with improved protection from wind and weather
  • Re-designed cockpit with visor
  • New control units and hydraulic reservoir
  • Electronically controlled windshield with optimized aero-acoustics and improved transparency
Designed and built for even higher engine speeds, the R1200RT's new boxer engine, like the engine featured on the BMW HP2 Sport, is equipped with two overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder. Valves are operated by very light rocker arms able to cope easily with high engine speeds. Radial arrangement of the four valves allows for a very compact combustion chamber configuration, and like that of the former models, the fuel/air mixture is ignited by two spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug). The compression ratio of 12.0:1 remains unchanged.
October 2009 - BMW R32

Where it all started!
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

The first BMW motorcycle was a child born of necessity. Following the Treaty of Versailles, which went into effect on June 28, 1919, Bayerische Moteren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works, or BMW) was prohibited from building aircraft engines.
BMW was an aircraft engine manufacturer, almost exclusively, since Gustav Otto (son of Nikolaus Otto) had opened his aircraft factory in Munich in 1911. Otto teamed with Karl Rapp, who owned an aircraft engine factory, in early 1916, forming Bayerische Flugzeugwerke GmbH (Bavarian Airplane Works or BFW). A year before the Treaty, Franz Josef "Karl" Popp joined the company. By 1921, BMW was barely in business. BMW kept the lights burning with the production of truck and boat engines, agricultural equipment, and an air brake system for railroad cars.

BMW entered the motorcycle market as a subcontractor, building a four-stroke engine for Otto's BFW, which intended to build a larger motorcycle called the Helios. The resulting M2B15 engine was a 486cc boxer twin with a perfectly square bore and stroke of 68mm. The engine was inspired by the British Douglas, and it was mounted similarly, with its twin cylinders facing fore and aft.
At the heart of BMW's engineering department from the beginning was company engineer Max Friz, who was ambivalent regarding anything other than aircraft. According to Darwin Holm-strom and Brian J. Nelson in the book BMW Motorcycles, Friz "often referred to automobiles as 'stupid conveyances' and thought even less highly of motorcycles." Yet, Karl Popp felt that his company could produce a better motorcycle on its own, and convinced Friz to build an improved boxer-engined machine.

The result was the BMW R32.

The R32 was unveiled at the Paris Motorcycle Salon in 1923, and it proved to be the sensation of the event. The R32 was sort of an amalgamation of the best practices in motorcycle building at the time. With the exception of the wet sump system, there wasn't anything necessarily earth-shattering about its individual components, but its overall quality and thoughtful design made it stand out.
Unlike the Helios, the R32 pivoted the engine 90 degrees and hung the finned cylinders in the wind, solving three problems at once: a wheelbase too long for practical purposes, insufficient cooling to the rear cylinder, and placement of a transmission. With the crankshaft mounted longitudinally, a three-speed transmission could be bolted directly in line with the engine, eliminating the primary drive chain. The R32 also used BMW's trademark shaft drive to turn the rear differential.

BMW immediately refined the R32 in 1924. This rare 1923 model only has a brake on the rear wheel, operated by jamming a block of wood against a dummy rim, which is about as effective as it sounds.
Until 1969, when BMW introduced the /5 series, the company continued to use Max Friz's basic R32 layout. Even more noteworthy, the shaft drive that appeared on the R32 remained the sole drive system of every BMW motorcycle until the F650's launch in 1994.
The motorcycle seen here is part of BMW's corporate collection and was on display at the 2008 New York Auto Show in April. BMW R32s are the most highly sought-after collectibles because of their rarity and their legacy. Perfect examples such as this one--if you could find one--could fetch as high as $100,000.
BMW continued to advance the boxer-twin/shaft-driven design for the next 85 years, and today at least half of the new motorcycles available from BMW still use that basic architecture. There's something to be said for doing it once and doing it right.

Submitted By Daryll Cainey President of Niagara BMW Riders #298

September 2009 - BMW R 100RS

R100RS2How do you put a price on prestige and quality? If someone built a pushrod, twin-cylinder motor cycle with an engine whose basic design was decades old, and marketed it at a price many hundreds of pounds higher than its rivals, would it sell? All logic says that it shouldn't, but that is exactly what the BMW motor cycle company does for a living and a very good living it makes too. BMW's secret is that its bikes have proved their quality and dependability over the years. In absolute terms, the company doesn't make a great many bikes and their exclusivity, quality and high price has given BMW the kind of image that is usually associated with Rolls-Royce, caviar and the executive jet set.
Top of BMW's range is the R100RS model, the most remarkable feature of which is a sleek fairing designed to make high-speed touring a comfortable and practical proposition, rather than to improve outright top speed. The R100RS was a logical progression for BMW because its products were best known for their long distance cruising ability and the RS was simply an attempt to create the ultimate sports tourer, whereas the R100S, with its very small fairing was the more normal sports bike. The R100RS is powered by a horizontally opposed, twin cylinder engine of 980cc which, fitted with two 40 mm Bing carburettors, develops 70bhp at 7250 rpm (5 bhp more than the S). This gives the bike a top speed of around 125 mph, hampered as it is by the large fairing; but then high speed blasting is not what BMW's are all about. When the weather turns nasty the R100RS comes into its own. The fairing designed in the Pininfarina wind tunnel in Italy is so effective that wind and rain are deflected around the rider enabling him to travel in comfort and arrive clean and dry. Riding the R100RS is an interesting experience.

R100RS3There is a slight boom from the fairing, but the engine is uncannily quiet and smooth. The fairing is so well designed and engineered that wind noise is minimal and it isn't until the rider looks at the speedometer that he realizes he is doing 20 mph more than he thought he was. In addition, the handling and braking of the big BMW are superb and even the trickiest of bends can be taken with surefooted confidence. Some riders worry about grounding the cylinder heads, exposed as they are on the sides of the machine, but this fear is unfounded. Even the most spectacular road racer would be hard pressed to get the smart black cylinder heads anywhere near the road.
Apart from its impressive ride, the BMW's other major asset is its excellent fuel consumption. With a 5-1/4-gallon tank and an overall fuel consumption of 50mpg, the BMW has a first-class range, a feature so important to the hardened tourer.
R100RS1Another impressive aspect of the R100RS is its marvellous finish. Unlike its Japanese rivals, BMW does not launch new bikes every two weeks, but tends to stick to a small handful of models which are constantly being refined. Consequently the detailed finish of the BMW is immaculate and at the same time practical. A quality image is not something that can be achieved overnight; it takes patience, time and a great deal of work. BMWs are more expensive than most of their rivals, but few of their owners would disagree that sometimes it just isn't possible to put a price on real class.

Submitted By Daryll Cainey President of Niagara BMW Riders #298